TCU lefty, projected top 10 draft pick Matt Purke diagnosed with shoulder bursitis

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TCU left-hander Matt Purke has been diagnosed with bursitis in his shoulder following a meeting with Dr. James Andrews, which actually qualifies as good news after the projected top-10 draft pick was shut down last week.

Purke lost out on millions of dollars when he failed to sign with the Rangers coming out of high school as the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft, but prior to the shoulder injury he was dominating enough this season to move up even higher in June’s draft.

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports that Purke may be cleared to resume throwing from flat ground as soon as next week and could return to game action in time to make multiple starts before the beginning of the conference tournament on May 24.

How he fares upon returning will obviously go a long way toward determining his draft position, but for now at least it sounds like Purke has avoided anything serious.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉